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May 23rd, 2022

Thomas claims second PGA Championship in a playoff

American come from seven shots back to snatch the title

Justin Thomas staged a record-equalling comeback before beating fellow American Will Zalatoris in a playoff to win the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

Thomas started the final round seven shots behind the overnight leader Mito Pereira and took the clubhouse lead on five-under-par after an excellent round of 67.
It had looked like Pereira was set to grab a surprise major win as he walked off the 17th green on six-under-par. However, the man from Chile found the creek off the final tee and sadly took a heartbreaking double bogey to miss out on the playoff by one shot.
Cameron Young of America was also in the running until a double-bogey at the 16th derailed his round. He birdied the 17th to reach four-under but could not find the birdie at the last to join Thomas and  Zalatoris in the playoff.
Mike Thomas and Justin Thomas after the play off

Thomas beat Zalatoris in the three-hole shoot out, crucially driving the 17th to set up a two-putt birdie that Zalatoris failed to match.
“It was a bizarre day,” said Thomas. ‘Bones did an unbelievable job of just keeping me in the moment. We just tried to play the golf course for what it is.
‘It’s funny, I was asked earlier in the week about what lead is safe, and I said, “no lead”. This place is so tough. But if you hit the fairways, you can make birdies and I stayed so patient, I just couldn’t believe I found myself in a playoff.”
Surely a major beckons for Will Zalatoris

Zalatoris was in a reflective mood after coming close to another win in a major, he was runner up at the 2021 Masters.
“I’ve been knocking on the door in these majors for a little while and one’s going to come soon..” said Zalatoris.
“To come up one short, it stings, but I know we’re going to get one soon.”
Mito Pereira finally succumbed to the pressure

Given the make-up of the leaderboard heading into Sunday, there was always the feeling that someone may come out of the pack to claim the title. It looked like that man could be Rory McIlroy, who was on fire with four birdies in his first five holes. Then, sitting at four-under for the event, the man from Northern Ireland inexplicably went cold.
A poor tee shot at the par-three sixth hole followed by an awful chip resulted in a bogey for McIlroy. After that, he would not make another birdie and he dropped a further shot at the drivable 17th to finish eight on two-under-par.
Another missed opportunity for McIlroy

England’s Matt Fitzpatrick was another player who failed to take advantage of a chance to grab a major title. A level-par round would have seen Fitzpatrick lift the trophy but he struggled on Sunday, eventually finishing joint-fifth on three-under.
“It’s tough to take,’ Fitzpatrick said. ‘I just didn’t hit very well, wasn’t a good day.
“It’s disappointing knowing that you’re two shots outside of a playoff and you feel like you’ve got the game to make the playoff and go on to win.”
Matt Fitzpatrick down on his luck

Fitzpatrick’s countryman Tommy Fleetwood joined him in fifth on three-under-par. The man from Southport’s had a rollercoaster of a final round of 67 that included seven birdies but also four straight bogeys from the 8th tee.

TAGS: PGA Championship, Justin Thomas, Will Zalatoris, Mito Pereira, Matt Fitzpatrick, 2022